By Sushant Kumar Pandey
Although drawing attention to socio -economic dimensions of left-wing extremism affected regions in the country a copiousness of reasons could be cited without any scrutiny as Poverty, lack of access to forest resource, Education, Unemployment and other deprivations, but as far as my concern Tribal land alienation has been exploited by the Naxals to build up their movement which is one of the prime reason for escalating the growth of naxalism, and Without a land reform programme, the landless tribals have no option but to throw in their lot with the Naxals with the hope that justice would be done to them.
The state of land reforms through the Naxal dominated states has remained unsatisfactory. States are either not inclined to bring in land reforms or have delayed the process by not implementing recommendations of land reforms commissions setup by themselves. Andhra Pradesh is an example.
To way out of this Himalayan hurdle in the growth of Left Wing Extremist the Union government should issue advisories to the state governments on taking immediate steps for bringing out land reforms.
Though land reforms are a state subject, still the centre can play an advisory role. Intra-state differences should be addressed by brain storming at the state as well as the national level.
While state-wide implementation of the programme and subsequent monitoring of such implementation would be too ambitious, it could be attempted district by district, starting with the least Naxal affected districts where it would be easy to implement. Setting up of a permanent authority such as Land Reforms Implementation Commissioner could be thought of.
Also land reforms need to be area specific and community specific and the existing land ceiling laws should be taken into account while bringing out the reforms.
Government should devise legal means to ensure that the landless get land. “Public purpose” in the Land Acquisition Act should be limited to national security and public welfare and should not be stretched to acquisition for companies, cooperatives and registered societies and bills like Land Acquisition (Amendment Bill) 2007: “These proposals need to be further revised to minimize displacement and secure the rights of affected displaced persons.”
During my village stay program in a tribal village ‘MOZRA” in U.P. I got to know about their slogan that they want their right over natural resources ‘jal (Water), jangal (Forest), jameen (Land)’ which means all plans must be demand driven by tribal community side.
( Author is an MBA (Rural Development) and works with with Inclen trust International. He is founder of “SA for SR”- Students Action for Social Responsibility). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Views expressed by the author in this feature are entirely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of INDIACSR.